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  1. #1
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    How do YOU Avoid Neck Pain?

    From another thread, it seems that a number of us deal with neck soreness. Mine comes and goes.

    Currently my strategy is to have the handlebars about level with the seat, and try to stretch/roll shoulders periodically while riding. I also try to keep my head down a bit, looking to the middle distance through the top of my glasses.

    Any other strategies or tips?
    My Book: Drive, Ride, Repeat: The Mostly-True Account of a Cross-Country Car and Bicycle Adventure

  2. #2
    Senior Member VaultGuru's Avatar
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    Perfect fit is one thing. You also need validation/clearance that you have no ortho or neuro problems that manifest themselves to create the pain. If those hurdles are passed, the next piece is to get your body prepared to deal with neck pain and overcome it. The biggest part is working with a QUALIFIED physical therapist/personal trainer (NASM certified) to strengthen the specific and supporting areas to help you eliminate, or minimize, pain. The trainer needs to know what you are experiencing and what your goals are in order to be able to help you. I have been down this path with back surgery and rehabilitation, and IMHO, a qualified personal trainer (and massage therapist working in conjunction with my PT) is invaluable. With the right help, I was able to go from riding 10 miles with a lot of pain to doing multiple double centuries with very little pain. Doubles are going to hurt, no matter how much you are in shape, so that is the caveat.
    Good luck

  3. #3
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    Strengthen the muscles of the shoulders, back and neck. You can do that with the machines in a gym.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Kurt Erlenbach's Avatar
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    Drugs. But outwest5's idea is better.

  5. #5
    tsl
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    Plays in traffic tsl's Avatar
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    My biggest pain in the neck was my ex. Sixteen years now pain-in-the-neck-free.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  6. #6
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by outwest5 View Post
    Strengthen the muscles of the shoulders, back and neck. You can do that with the machines in a gym.
    +1 Although we purchased equipment that allows me to do this at home. If I don't keep on top of my upper body routine, my neck is the first thing to remind me that I'm being negligent. IMO fit is the first step, but it may not be enough. Depending on how much you ride, you may need more strength than the typical person to keep your head up at an angle that allows you to see the road.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  7. #7
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    I find a good bike fitting is one of the key factors, along with just riding a lot and keeping teh neck stretched. The more I ride with my well fitting road bike, the more comfortable my neck is. I ride on the bar tops and in the drops to be sure and stretch my neck on every ride. As a result I never get soreness i the neck, even with regular long rides (80-110 miles). I think this combination would work for all, and I think that the body is very adaptable if you set up a program that stretches the neck over time. Ride, ride ride!

    My set up
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  8. #8
    Grammar Cop Condorita's Avatar
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    Upright riding.
    That which does not kill me has made a massive tactical blunder.
    Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen. Louis L'Amour
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Condorita View Post
    Upright riding.
    It's the necks best thing.

  10. #10
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    No neck pain for me. Found the proper set up for me, have all the measurements and check them from time to time. Also, somewhere read or saw an article on how when lions attack they stretch out their spines and necks. When i started riding again in 09 i looked at my shadow and made sure not to hunch my shoulders, but to stretch out as much as possible my spine and neck. Now it is second nature.

  11. #11
    Senior Member irwin7638's Avatar
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    Raising the handlebars is the best thing I've done. My neck started bothering me whenever I was riding my Trek 560, I raised the handlebars about 1/4 inch and the pain went away. I went from 23 to 25 mm tires, dropped 10PSI and the ache in my wrists disappeared as well.
    My new Hunqapillar is set with the handlebars just above the seat level and after my first 25 mile ride I had now aches, pains or stiffness anywhere.

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  12. #12
    Senior Member xizangstan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    My biggest pain in the neck was my ex. Sixteen years now pain-in-the-neck-free.
    Is it true that she tells everyone you were a much bigger pain to her, where she sits down?

    Who is John Galt?

  13. #13
    Senior Member Terex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shifty View Post
    I find a good bike fitting is one of the key factors, along with just riding a lot and keeping teh neck stretched. The more I ride with my well fitting road bike, the more comfortable my neck is. I ride on the bar tops and in the drops to be sure and stretch my neck on every ride. As a result I never get soreness i the neck, even with regular long rides (80-110 miles). I think this combination would work for all, and I think that the body is very adaptable if you set up a program that stretches the neck over time. Ride, ride ride!
    Agreed. Most problems are due to 1) a big increase in miles over what you've been doing, 2) a poor fit, or 3) some physical problem.

    For most people, the solution to neck pain is just gradually increase your mileage. A good massage from time to time will also help.

  14. #14
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    Ones back angle is set by saddle to bar distance as well as bar height. On my mountain bike, the bar is about 1.5" below the saddle, but my back angle is the same as my road bike which has the bar the same height as the saddle. I keep my back angle at 45 to 50 degrees (on the hoods for road) and never have had a neck issue. I have had a lower back issue once in a while, but a hyper-extension bench/Roman chair took care of that.

    When I set up a bike, I always set my back angle. The wife does the measurement while I brace against a work bench with my knee.

    Some folks just have neck issues I think. My wife suffers from that periodically and has all her life.

    Al

  15. #15
    "Chooch" ciocc_cat's Avatar
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    I raised my Cinelli 1A stem to minimum insertion height, which is still almost 9 cm below the nose of my saddle but that's not a comfort issue for me. The thing that really helped was removing the visor from my cheapie Bell helmet - makes looking ahead much easier!
    "A bicycle built by a frame builder has the soul of the builder. A mass produced frame does not have soul. It doesn't know anyone." - Giovanni "Ciocc" Pelizzoli.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    I changed the way my bike fits.
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    Silver Eagle Pilot

  17. #17
    Senior Member roadiespinner's Avatar
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    Raising the bar should help but a good overall fit is best. Spend a few bucks and get a good bike fit to make sure everything else is where it should be.
    Also make sure that you are riding with your elbows bent a little so that your arms can can absorb the road shock. Otherwise the road shock will be transferred to your shoulders and neck.

  18. #18
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    http://img1.jurko.net/avatar_14902.gif


    *Common sense clearly isn't common*

  19. #19
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    A LWB recumbent did the trick for me, too. There's nothing quite like riding into the scenery, back straight with lumbar support, neck and shoulders relaxed and in a natural position. Taking in the view is great. bk

  20. #20
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    See a good chiropractor & have them keep your neck loose & in line. I do push ups to keep my muscles strong & keep my bars high, can still use the drops when I draft with friends. I have a neck full of arthritis.

  21. #21
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    Proper fit, and (for me) this:

    Sirrus.jpg

    rather than this:
    Roubaix.jpg

  22. #22
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I just don't ride my Road bike [RB1] much anymore. it's lovely though..

    My Trekking bars are set up Higher than the saddle on the bike I do ride more..

  23. #23
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by badger1 View Post
    Proper fit, and (for me) this:

    Sirrus.jpg

    rather than this:
    Roubaix.jpg
    Interesting. Are you saying that rotating your wrists about 90 degrees inward prevents neck pain?
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  24. #24
    Pedals, Paddles and Poles Daspydyr's Avatar
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    I have used this and Lortabs for the last three months, feels great.
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    I think its disgusting and terrible how people treat Lance Armstrong, especially after winning 7 Tour de France Titles while on drugs!

    I can't even find my bike when I'm on drugs. -Willie N.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    Interesting. Are you saying that rotating your wrists about 90 degrees inward prevents neck pain?
    If you mean "rotating one's wrists back and forth through about 90 degrees, moving from grips to bar ends and back to grips etc., thereby reducing a build up of tension/stress through the arms/shoulders/neck/upper back on long rides" helps prevent neck pain, then yes, it does, for me at least (for reasons explained to me in much more precise/technical language by my physiotherapist).
    There are other reasons for my particular bike set-up/preferences, but that is certainly one of them.

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